Sacks, Spread Attacks, and Wide Open Backs: A Look at Football’s Innu(tight)endo

08/24/2009 § Leave a comment

From On Football irregular contributor Josh DeVane:

It’s no secret that there is a lot of double entendre in football. There are positions (ever hear about the tight end who went to prison for five years and emerged as a wide receiver?) and formations (the always entertaining flexbone scheme), and all sorts of other things. Heck, even the traditional snap may seem a bit iffy for the more insecure among us (read: those who are uncomfortable seeing butts get slapped on the baseball diamond).

The latest offensive fad in football (college football’s Twitter, if you will) is to have a special package put in (see?) for one of the better athletes on the team as an added dimension to the offensive scheme. This special package is usually nothing more than a few plays based on using deception to create athletic mismatches, and generally revolves around the good ol’ single wing formation.

Even Urban Meyer has said that he’s been working on an offensive package for CB Joe Haden, who was a very gifted QB in high school. What will he call his package? (Come on; don’t act like you haven’t named yours.) That remains to be seen.

I can’t say, with any reasonable degree of certainty, who it was that started this fad, but it is being referred to as the wildcat formation by most people, although some coaches, at the expense of their dignity, have renamed the formation to include their mascot’s name. This has resulted in a number of embarrassing, unfunny formation names popping up across the country, although Houston Nutt’s “Wild Hog” and “Wild Rebel” monikers (from his time at Arkansas and Ole Miss, respectively) are at least mildly amusing.

Still, we haven’t been fortunate enough to see Pete Carroll adopt the “Wild Trojan Package,” or to see Mike Riley implement the “Wild Beaver” set into his offense in the Northwest. The potential for sexual humor this formation affords has gone largely untapped. Until now.

“And when Garcia took a break, freshman Stephon Gilmore stepped in and provided a spark in his debut in the “Wildcock” formation.”

Many thanks to Coach Spurrier for what will provide college football fans everywhere with at least a few good jokes, and one hundred dollars cash to the first announcer to use the term over the airwaves, should his path ever cross mine.

We are less than two weeks away from the start of the college football season now, and if there’s one thing you should take from this column, it’s that there is never a shortage of innuendo in the game of football, from mascots to coachspeak to commentary. Finding it may take more work for some than others, but it’s worth the searching, even if it only provides a cheap laugh for you and your friends over beers. So don’t let the humor of a virginal, defending national champion quarterback who has circumcised young Filipino boys be lost on you. Football innuendo can be just as good as hearing an announcer say, “He really got some good wood on that one,” or an on-air mention of dribble penetration, or even the best Maria Sharapova scream.

Happy searching.

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